22-1-303. Creation of public library. A public library may be established in any county or city in any of the following ways:
(1) The governing body of any county or city desiring to establish and maintain a public library may pass and enter upon its minutes a resolution to the effect that a free public library is established under the provision of Montana laws relating to public libraries.
(2) A public library may be established by a petition that is signed by not less than 10% of the resident taxpayers whose names appear upon the last-completed assessment roll of the city or county and that is filed with the governing body requesting the establishment of a public library. The governing body of a city or county shall set a time of meeting at which it may by resolution establish a public library. The governing body shall give notice of the contemplated action in a newspaper of general circulation for 2 consecutive weeks giving the date and place of the meeting at which the contemplated action is proposed to be taken.
(3) (a) Upon a petition being filed with the governing body and signed by not less than 5% of the resident taxpayers of any city or county requesting an election, the governing body shall submit to a vote of the qualified electors at the next general election the question of whether a free public library is to be established.
(b) If a petition is submitted for a city, the petition must be signed by resident taxpayers of the city.
(c) If a petition is submitted to the county commissioners of a county asking for the establishment of a county library, the petition must be signed by resident taxpayers of the county who reside outside the corporate limits of an incorporated city that is located in the county and that may already have established a free public library for the city.
(d) If the petition specifically asks that a special election be called and the petition is signed by 35% of the resident freeholders affected by the petition, then the governing body shall, upon receipt of the petition, immediately set a date for a special election. The special election must be held in conjunction with a regular or primary election.
(e) If at the election a majority of the electors voting on the question vote in favor of the establishment of a library, the governing body shall immediately take the necessary steps to establish and maintain the library or to contract with any city or county for library service to be rendered to the inhabitants of the city or county.